Nextcloud beat US hyperscalers as collaboration platform for EU digital sovereignty project Gaia-X

Gaia-X was imagined as a federated data infrastructure ecosystem for Europe. More than 250 members already came on board and decided to join forces around the same common objectives and endeavors of Gaia-X, according to Gaia-X. The joining of US hyperscalers Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft called into question whether EU’s Gaia-X cloud platform depends on the participation of these Tech Giants and makes unclear how Europe can maintain control of its digital future if it’s reliant on foreign companies for technology.

As reported by Handelsblatt, the internal struggle over how to deal with the big foreign corporations came to a head in a debate about the collaboration platform through which the Gaia-X members exchange information. According to insider information it gleaned, several companies made an offer, including Microsoft and Google. Both had lobbied strongly, offering their services free of charge, according to organisational insiders known to Handelsblatt.

After a long selection process, Gaia-X board bypassed the products from the hyperscalers and selected a European-developed and hosted collaboration platform. The Gaia-X members will collaborate on the next generation, independent and federated infrastructure for Europe using Nextcloud, the most popular on-premises content collaboration platform, hosted at Europe’s largest hosting provider, IONOS.

As a large and diversified European endeavor, Gaia-X was looking for a flexible, functionally complete, and European-based collaboration platform that integrates well with other tools. Nextcloud facilitates extensive cross-organisational collaboration for us in a secure and compliant way.

— Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X AISBL

The new digital collaboration platform Nextcloud is now up and running and the first members are onboarded. Every member already has read-only access to https://community.gaia-x.eu/.

The first Extraordinary General Assembly of the Gaia-X AISBL already took place in June 2021 to nominate the new Board of Directors by using Nextcloud Polls as a voting system to establish the first Board of Directors for the next two years.

Digital sovereignty moving forward

This decision by Gaia-X is a great step forward for digital sovereignty in Europe.

If you want to join the digital sovereignty revolution, get started now!

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